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Amorosa-Coonarra Coasts
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Cliches in Writing

Postby Amorosa-Coonarra Coasts » Thu Dec 24, 2020 5:19 am

Is there a cliche in a book, film or TV show that ticks you off, makes you throw the book into the fireplace, crush the DVD, or turn your TV off? Does it make you angry, bored, annoyed or just plain makes you roll your eyes at an otherwise good work of art?

Well, here you can list them. Make sure to give reasons why it doesn't work,
or this'll just be the Nationstates TV Tropes forum.

Or you can post stuff about stuff that gets you down when you're writing your own thing.
So go right ahead!

I am in the current process of writing books, and the one I'm currently writing, well, I lack the enthusiasm
or idea of how to execute those ideas well.
I don't want it to go to waste, but I'm stagnating a lot and struggle to find a good way to implement
something into the story to make it feel natural.

Anyway....
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I don't believe in the media to report on topics fairly; most of the mainstream, big ones are corporations who are out to make a profit, and sell their space - and audience - to the highest bidder. So yeah, there's a reason I don't trust the press or cable news.

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Amorosa-Coonarra Coasts
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Headline

Postby Amorosa-Coonarra Coasts » Thu Dec 24, 2020 5:25 am

Right now,
I'm taking a break from that book and writing
a completely new one.

It's called headline and it's about a young girl who grows up to become a journalist.
The setting is established beforehand (I know it like the back of my hand) and I can just...relax while
writing it.
257 Pandanus Avenue,
Spearswood, QLD
4767
I don't believe in the media to report on topics fairly; most of the mainstream, big ones are corporations who are out to make a profit, and sell their space - and audience - to the highest bidder. So yeah, there's a reason I don't trust the press or cable news.

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Destyntine
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Postby Destyntine » Sat Dec 26, 2020 2:35 am

The cliché that I always find to be the biggest turnoff in writing is the flawless hero/Mary Sue cliché. In writing, this is the character that is written to be absolutely perfect in everything they do, everything they say, and you know they will have a happy ending. A Mary Sue character is very easy to spot due to their center of attention and absolute perfectionist qualities.

I also cannot stand the throwaway side-character cliché. I have often noticed in stories where death is common there are always those side characters who are thrown in just be killed off in order to reveal a threat or show the threat in action. These characters are usually weaker or are a lower rank compared to main characters. Ever notice how a group of soldiers goes into a fight and everyone in that team dies except for the main characters? How about when a bunch of knights are defending a castle and only the main characters manage to escape the attack alive. These kinds of things are subtle but they get to me.
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An Alan Smithee Nation
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Postby An Alan Smithee Nation » Sat Dec 26, 2020 7:52 am

I really hate the "it turns out they had an identical twin/doppelganger" thing.
Everything is intertwinkled

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Amorosa-Coonarra Coasts
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Postby Amorosa-Coonarra Coasts » Sun Dec 27, 2020 1:02 am

Destyntine wrote:The cliché that I always find to be the biggest turnoff in writing is the flawless hero/Mary Sue cliché. In writing, this is the character that is written to be absolutely perfect in everything they do, everything they say, and you know they will have a happy ending. A Mary Sue character is very easy to spot due to their center of attention and absolute perfectionist qualities.

I also cannot stand the throwaway side-character cliché. I have often noticed in stories where death is common there are always those side characters who are thrown in just be killed off in order to reveal a threat or show the threat in action. These characters are usually weaker or are a lower rank compared to main characters. Ever notice how a group of soldiers goes into a fight and everyone in that team dies except for the main characters? How about when a bunch of knights are defending a castle and only the main characters manage to escape the attack alive. These kinds of things are subtle but they get to me.


Mary Sues and Gary Stus are cardboard cutouts. Not characters, cutouts.
They're created because the author was likely too lazy to create an interesting character or didn't think things through
when they were writing up that character.
257 Pandanus Avenue,
Spearswood, QLD
4767
I don't believe in the media to report on topics fairly; most of the mainstream, big ones are corporations who are out to make a profit, and sell their space - and audience - to the highest bidder. So yeah, there's a reason I don't trust the press or cable news.

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Haremm
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Postby Haremm » Sun Dec 27, 2020 11:58 pm

Destyntine wrote:
I also cannot stand the throwaway side-character cliché. I have often noticed in stories where death is common there are always those side characters who are thrown in just be killed off in order to reveal a threat or show the threat in action. These characters are usually weaker or are a lower rank compared to main characters. Ever notice how a group of soldiers goes into a fight and everyone in that team dies except for the main characters? How about when a bunch of knights are defending a castle and only the main characters manage to escape the attack alive. These kinds of things are subtle but they get to me.


So cannon fodders?



I don't know what do you to call it, but it's when the main character/s is about to die/lose but then his allies suddenly arrive in an extremely dramatic fashion (don't get me wrong, they sure do make one hell of an entrance) and save him from the brink of death. It's just bothering why they didn't come with the MC in the first place or that why the MC has to face his enemy/ies all alone.



Haremm does not necessarily reflect my personal views and opinions.

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Western Fardelshufflestein
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Postby Western Fardelshufflestein » Mon Dec 28, 2020 12:04 am

Why must there be romance in every single story ever? Why must there ALWAYS be a love triangle? Love triangles are so overdone, and it can be more interesting to have a love hexagon or a love dodecahedron if it is portrayed well.

Fictional characters looooooove having [REDACTED] out of wedlock. Why can't there be at least one person who chooses to wait after marriage?

SNOW ON CHRISTMAS. NOT EVERYONE LIVES IN THE SUPER COLD REGIONS OF THE WORLD. NO. JUST NO.
Haremm wrote:
Destyntine wrote:
I also cannot stand the throwaway side-character cliché. I have often noticed in stories where death is common there are always those side characters who are thrown in just be killed off in order to reveal a threat or show the threat in action. These characters are usually weaker or are a lower rank compared to main characters. Ever notice how a group of soldiers goes into a fight and everyone in that team dies except for the main characters? How about when a bunch of knights are defending a castle and only the main characters manage to escape the attack alive. These kinds of things are subtle but they get to me.


So cannon fodders?



I don't know what do you to call it, but it's when the main character/s is about to die/lose but then his allies suddenly arrive in an extremely dramatic fashion (don't get me wrong, they sure do make one hell of an entrance) and save him from the brink of death. It's just bothering why they didn't come with the MC in the first place or that why the MC has to face his enemy/ies all alone.

The fancy literary term is deus ex machina. This can get cheesy really quickly unless it is delivered unexpectedly and well.
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Nuroblav
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Postby Nuroblav » Mon Dec 28, 2020 5:49 am

I'll second the deux ex machina mentioned above, given that usually I can sense from way too far off that it'll end well.

Dunno if there's a technical term for this either, but part of me is tired of 'other important character almost dies near the end but we find out afterwards they they don't actually'.
Western Fardelshufflestein wrote:Why must there be romance in every single story ever? Why must there ALWAYS be a love triangle? Love triangles are so overdone, and it can be more interesting to have a love hexagon or a love dodecahedron if it is portrayed well.

SNOW ON CHRISTMAS. NOT EVERYONE LIVES IN THE SUPER COLD REGIONS OF THE WORLD. NO. JUST NO.

Love's Labours Lost: hold my love octagon

The snow on Christmas one is rather annoying though, I'll agree.
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Heloin
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Postby Heloin » Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:01 am

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Western Fardelshufflestein
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Postby Western Fardelshufflestein » Mon Dec 28, 2020 12:57 pm

Nuroblav wrote:I'll second the deux ex machina mentioned above, given that usually I can sense from way too far off that it'll end well.

Dunno if there's a technical term for this either, but part of me is tired of 'other important character almost dies near the end but we find out afterwards they they don't actually'.
Western Fardelshufflestein wrote:Why must there be romance in every single story ever? Why must there ALWAYS be a love triangle? Love triangles are so overdone, and it can be more interesting to have a love hexagon or a love dodecahedron if it is portrayed well.

SNOW ON CHRISTMAS. NOT EVERYONE LIVES IN THE SUPER COLD REGIONS OF THE WORLD. NO. JUST NO.

Love's Labours Lost: hold my love octagon

The snow on Christmas one is rather annoying though, I'll agree.

Ugh, false deaths are annoying. I don't like it when the core group of characters never experiences death, even when you find at least one or two of them stuck-up/OP/annoying/ et cetera. Like, kill the obnoxious one, will you? But don't make them a martyr, authors. Come on.

I should get back to reading. I'M COMING, BILLY SHAKES!
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Amorosa-Coonarra Coasts
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Postby Amorosa-Coonarra Coasts » Thu Dec 31, 2020 3:03 am

I hate it when writers feel the need to pander to SJWs and moral guardians who complain incessantly about anything or anyone they don't like.

Just make a good story, goddammit.
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I don't believe in the media to report on topics fairly; most of the mainstream, big ones are corporations who are out to make a profit, and sell their space - and audience - to the highest bidder. So yeah, there's a reason I don't trust the press or cable news.

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Anollasia
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Postby Anollasia » Fri Jan 01, 2021 7:52 pm

"Honey, I can explain."

She doesn't listen to him and runs away

(It would be a much shorter story if she would listen, but that doesn't mean it's not cliché).

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Amorosa-Coonarra Coasts
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Postby Amorosa-Coonarra Coasts » Mon Jan 04, 2021 6:38 am

Thin skinned authors who can't take criticism.
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I don't believe in the media to report on topics fairly; most of the mainstream, big ones are corporations who are out to make a profit, and sell their space - and audience - to the highest bidder. So yeah, there's a reason I don't trust the press or cable news.

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Chan Island
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Postby Chan Island » Mon Jan 04, 2021 9:41 am

Anollasia wrote:"Honey, I can explain."

She doesn't listen to him and runs away

(It would be a much shorter story if she would listen, but that doesn't mean it's not cliché).


It also can make for a more interesting story too, that's the thing! She can straight up disbelieve what he's saying, they can argue, shout at each other, plunge into the emotional depth of their 2 stories, right there in the moment.

But no, have them run away and then they make up for it later because you can't actually write human interaction. Gets me every time.

---------------------

For me, I generally dislike the Worff effect. This is more of a TV and comic book sin, but the end result is that you just feel sorry for the resident punching bag. Like the Avatar of Khaine in Warhammer, who is beaten by everyone and their grandma because hey, look how badass they are. At least let Worff win a few battles here and there, and even beat named characters from time to time, to remind us that he's actually bad-ass and not a mere punching bag.

Another I dislike is how everything is a love story. Yeah, I get it, people like to have naughties in bed, but in every damn story? I'd pay to watch a movie where there just isn't a romantic relationship in it.
Conserative Morality wrote:"It's not time yet" is a tactic used by reactionaries in every era. "It's not time for democracy, it's not time for capitalism, it's not time for emancipation." Of course it's not time. It's never time, not on its own. You make it time. If you're under fire in the no-man's land of WW1, you start digging a foxhole even if the ideal time would be when you *aren't* being bombarded, because once you wait for it to be 'time', other situations will need your attention, assuming you survive that long. If the fields aren't furrowed, plow them. If the iron is not hot, make it so. If society is not ready, change it.

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Anollasia
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Postby Anollasia » Mon Jan 04, 2021 7:20 pm

Chan Island wrote:
Anollasia wrote:"Honey, I can explain."

She doesn't listen to him and runs away

(It would be a much shorter story if she would listen, but that doesn't mean it's not cliché).


It also can make for a more interesting story too, that's the thing! She can straight up disbelieve what he's saying, they can argue, shout at each other, plunge into the emotional depth of their 2 stories, right there in the moment.

But no, have them run away and then they make up for it later because you can't actually write human interaction. Gets me every time.

---------------------

For me, I generally dislike the Worff effect. This is more of a TV and comic book sin, but the end result is that you just feel sorry for the resident punching bag. Like the Avatar of Khaine in Warhammer, who is beaten by everyone and their grandma because hey, look how badass they are. At least let Worff win a few battles here and there, and even beat named characters from time to time, to remind us that he's actually bad-ass and not a mere punching bag.

Another I dislike is how everything is a love story. Yeah, I get it, people like to have naughties in bed, but in every damn story? I'd pay to watch a movie where there just isn't a romantic relationship in it.


I would like to see that, as it would shake things up a bit. Plus I wouldn't get frustrated that she decides not to listen to him lol.

Also, have you ever watched Big Hero 6? That's one movie where there isn't a romantic story, just brotherly/friendly love.

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Heloin
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Postby Heloin » Mon Jan 04, 2021 7:34 pm

Chan Island wrote:For me, I generally dislike the Worff effect. This is more of a TV and comic book sin, but the end result is that you just feel sorry for the resident punching bag. Like the Avatar of Khaine in Warhammer, who is beaten by everyone and their grandma because hey, look how badass they are. At least let Worff win a few battles here and there, and even beat named characters from time to time, to remind us that he's actually bad-ass and not a mere punching bag.

I always felt there should have been one episode of TNG showing how Worf actually saved the day all the time.

Amorosa-Coonarra Coasts wrote:I hate it when writers feel the need to pander to SJWs and moral guardians who complain incessantly about anything or anyone they don't like.

Just make a good story, goddammit.
Amorosa-Coonarra Coasts wrote:Thin skinned authors who can't take criticism.

Those aren't clichés.
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Australian rePublic
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Postby Australian rePublic » Mon Jan 04, 2021 7:38 pm

Shoving a love story where it doesn't belong for the sake of unnecessarily including a love story. This happens all the time in American cinema. The best example I can think of RN is the movie "Speed"
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Jabberwocky
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Postby Jabberwocky » Mon Jan 04, 2021 7:41 pm

That deus ex machina drives me crazy too. A word to the wise: Max Barry avoids that pitfall quite nicely in Providence, by far his most satisfying novel. I can't say more. I would hate to spoil anything.
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Western Fardelshufflestein
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Postby Western Fardelshufflestein » Mon Jan 04, 2021 7:42 pm

Amorosa-Coonarra Coasts wrote:I hate it when writers feel the need to pander to SJWs and moral guardians who complain incessantly about anything or anyone they don't like.

Just make a good story, goddammit.

I do, as well.
Anollasia wrote:"Honey, I can explain."

She doesn't listen to him and runs away

(It would be a much shorter story if she would listen, but that doesn't mean it's not cliché).

Let this trope burn and die.
Australian rePublic wrote:Shoving a love story where it doesn't belong for the sake of unnecessarily including a love story. This happens all the time in American cinema. The best example I can think of RN is the movie "Speed"

Ugh, can we have one story without romance?

And, yes, I love Big Hero 6.
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Amorosa-Coonarra Coasts
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Postby Amorosa-Coonarra Coasts » Mon Jan 04, 2021 9:01 pm

Movies and books that fall into the genre of 'Grimdark': stories that are dark, edgy and gritty for the sheer hell of it with no other reason than following trends.

Symptoms that your narrative is a casualty of Grimdark include:
- A washed-out, dark colour palette of dirty greys and blacks
- Gruff heroes with no moral compass
- Killing off characters every five minutes.
- Drowning the audience in so much depressing schlock that they don't care anymore.
257 Pandanus Avenue,
Spearswood, QLD
4767
I don't believe in the media to report on topics fairly; most of the mainstream, big ones are corporations who are out to make a profit, and sell their space - and audience - to the highest bidder. So yeah, there's a reason I don't trust the press or cable news.

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Postby Cannot think of a name » Mon Jan 04, 2021 9:48 pm

Western Fardelshufflestein wrote:Why must there be romance in every single story ever? Why must there ALWAYS be a love triangle? Love triangles are so overdone, and it can be more interesting to have a love hexagon or a love dodecahedron if it is portrayed well.

Fictional characters looooooove having [REDACTED] out of wedlock. Why can't there be at least one person who chooses to wait after marriage?

SNOW ON CHRISTMAS. NOT EVERYONE LIVES IN THE SUPER COLD REGIONS OF THE WORLD. NO. JUST NO.
Haremm wrote:
So cannon fodders?



I don't know what do you to call it, but it's when the main character/s is about to die/lose but then his allies suddenly arrive in an extremely dramatic fashion (don't get me wrong, they sure do make one hell of an entrance) and save him from the brink of death. It's just bothering why they didn't come with the MC in the first place or that why the MC has to face his enemy/ies all alone.

The fancy literary term is deus ex machina. This can get cheesy really quickly unless it is delivered unexpectedly and well.

I am a big champion of platonic relationships in stories. Just because there's a male and female lead doesn't mean they have to hook up, they can be friends. We can start making that example.
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Chan Island
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Postby Chan Island » Tue Jan 05, 2021 3:39 pm

Amorosa-Coonarra Coasts wrote:Movies and books that fall into the genre of 'Grimdark': stories that are dark, edgy and gritty for the sheer hell of it with no other reason than following trends.

Symptoms that your narrative is a casualty of Grimdark include:
- A washed-out, dark colour palette of dirty greys and blacks
- Gruff heroes with no moral compass
- Killing off characters every five minutes.
- Drowning the audience in so much depressing schlock that they don't care anymore.


Yeah, everyone kinda copied Warhammer thinking that the grim dark was everything when the thing that really makes it stand out is the fact that there is nobility, honour and virtue despite the grim dark in those stories. The gallant space marines, in many ways, have their selfless behaviour be enhanced precisely because everything else around them is so depressing.

You lose that, and you just get a downer story with no purpose except to promote more misery. Screw that.

Anollasia wrote:
Also, have you ever watched Big Hero 6? That's one movie where there isn't a romantic story, just brotherly/friendly love.


No, I haven't but now will probably watch it tomorrow. My sister was just raving to me about how good that movie was too lol.
Conserative Morality wrote:"It's not time yet" is a tactic used by reactionaries in every era. "It's not time for democracy, it's not time for capitalism, it's not time for emancipation." Of course it's not time. It's never time, not on its own. You make it time. If you're under fire in the no-man's land of WW1, you start digging a foxhole even if the ideal time would be when you *aren't* being bombarded, because once you wait for it to be 'time', other situations will need your attention, assuming you survive that long. If the fields aren't furrowed, plow them. If the iron is not hot, make it so. If society is not ready, change it.

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Crysuko
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Postby Crysuko » Thu Jan 07, 2021 7:20 am

bigging up someone or something, a person, an army, an object or whatever as super duper mega powerful, only for them to get their ass kicked immediately. looking at you avatar of Khaine.
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Polska Rzeczpospolita Robotnicza
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Postby Polska Rzeczpospolita Robotnicza » Thu Jan 07, 2021 7:28 am

Characters who are useless babies and who suck at everything while still being the main character for the sake of the author saying "look I didn't make a Mary Sue!!11!!"

The only place where this is acceptable is generally slapstick comedy, people need to make more believable characters who are in the middle between Mary Sue and awful.
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Burpolis Dna
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Postby Burpolis Dna » Fri Jan 08, 2021 11:09 am

I hate it when the main character lucky as hell. This is not even interesting to read when he doesn't have any REAL challenge.
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